When it Comes to Protecting Your Assets, You Need an Experienced Michigan Estate Planning Attorney on Your Side
Discussing estate planning can be a sensitive and stressful subject. A key to minimizing some of that stress is to plan accordingly.
Chances are, you are part of the statistics noted by Forbes and various business resources on why people say they don’t have wills:
- 47% said they “just haven’t gotten around to making one.”
- 22% felt that making a will wasn’t urgent.
- 17% didn’t think they needed a will.
- 14% don’t have a will because they don’t want to think about death.
The truth is, in the event you get sick or die without a will or trust, the state determines where and how your assets are distributed, which could turn into a drawn out legal process; this could have a major impact on your healthcare, your estate tax, your designated beneficiaries, and more.
What Are My Options?
As you dive into estate planning, you’ll find a few different terms pop up such as will, last will and testament, trust, revocable living trust, and living trust. Read on to learn the definitions of each:
This document is used to help you carry out how you want your assets and properties to be distributed and is one of the most well known terms in estate planning. Everyone should have a will in order to avoid their assets going into probate.
The living will speaks to healthcare – it’s the document in which you note how you want your medical care handled in the event you are no longer able to declare it for yourself.
Last Will and Testament
This is a legal document that notes your assets, properties, and where and how they will be distributed when you die. The last will and testament has also been called a will.
As opposed to wills, trusts can be used to divide up your belongings while you are still alive. You write the rules of it. Your trust can have multiple beneficiaries, but our clients in Michigan typically site two.
Revocable Living Trust
This legal document is used to avoid court supervised process of wrapping your estate – also known as ‘probate.’
Like the name suggests, a living trust is a type of trust. It’s used to avoid probate and guarantee that in the event you become ill or for any other reason are unable manage your own assets, they will be used in a way that best benefits you.
The time to take advantage of asset protection is now, while you are still well, in order to ensure your assets are distributed as you desire upon retirement, illness, or death.